George Mason University
Jake Hughey lab
Circadian clocks synchronize critical physiological functions with the environment in order to maintain homeostasis. An overt example of this is the feeding/fasting cycle in which clock genes regulate metabolic gene expression to meet energy demands throughout the day. However, several aspects of circadian organization and regulation, especially in humans, are still unknown and remain as active area of research. In the Hughey Lab, we develop and apply diverse computational tools to investigate how circadian dynamics manifest over multiple scales. I plan to study the link between the circadian system at the molecular level and human health using bio-informatics such as machine learning and data science. I hope to improve our understanding of the dynamics of circadian gene regulation and how cell-to-cell interactions contribute to daily rhythms throughout the body. In addition, I am interested in studying the signaling pathways downstream of the circadian clock using methods such as mass spectrometry and cytometry. Time permitting, I would also like to leverage Vanderbilt’s unique resource of electronic health record (EHR) data linked to genetic data (BioVU) to understand and predict how chronotype and the circadian system can impact clinical phenotypes.